Featured Post, or Blast from the Past

Let Books on First Be Your Caffeine Den of Choice

While everyone grapples with the implication of legalizing recreational marijuana (e.g., exactly how does one measure a DUI), caffeine ha...

17 May 2017

Do Americans Get Their Milk Drinking Lattes?

Heard on NPR: Americans are drinking 40% less cow's milk today than 40 years ago.  The average person drinks about 18 gallons/year and Archie Goodwin must have been drinking enough for about 10 of them.  For the Midwestern man's man then, suave ladies' man in his 30's, a cold glass of milk has been his go-to drink from the first Nero Wolfe book Fer-de-Lance, published in 1932.  There is no embarrassment on his part and actually, no heckling on the part of companions.  Of course, he also takes a shot of rye more often than not and has coffee at the end of breakfast to finish the morning paper.  But still, with breakfast along with lunch, dinner, snack, offerings to visitors as well as a pitcherful to take up to bed, milk (implied cow's milk) was Archie's drink of choice.

And now what do we have? Soy "milk." Almond "milk." Rice "milk."  As dairy producers complain, these are all named this way to give people a non-dairy choice while thinking they're still drinking milk.  Do Americans really think there's a machine squeezing almonds to get milk?  "Almond slurry," I agree, is much more to the point.  Producers of these non-dairy liquid products can always use the generic word "drink," which when used to describe a fruit-like orangey liquid evokes a factory making something which is 0.000001 part citrus, 2 parts sugar and 97.999999 parts water.  Almond "drink" doesn't sound far from that, especially since almost all of these -- soy, almond, rice, ... have added sugar.  That's what dairy milk is missing.  With the bans on "sugary drinks" becoming more fashionable, cow's milk with never added sugar may become popular again.  After all, can Americans really have their milk and drink it, too?

24 April 2017

There Are Rainbows Everywhere (or, Trout Fishing in America)

While on vacation to the Pacific Northwest recently, I read a couple of books by Keith McCafferty (doing our April Reading Challenge -- starting a new series!). His series is about a New Englander who enjoys trout fishing and with no direction after his divorce, he drove himself and his worldly possessions out to Montana to fish.  The titles of the books in the series are all names of tied flies.  If you are a serious fly fisher, you tie your own flies as well as know the history of fly-tying, heard of where all the best trout fishing is around the world and basically throw back everything you catch.


And, you would know that it's possible to cut a notch into the adipose fin without hurting the fish or its ability to survive.  You might know this little fact before or after visiting the Bonneville Dam before or after reading The Royal Wulff Murders.  By reading this first title in the series, you will also learn more than you may ever want to know about whirling disease and how it might spread to trouts in other waters far, far away, or how a real trout fishing aficionado might want to find, breed and populate the rivers with a super-trout.  (You would also have learned that steelheads are rainbow trout that spend part of their lives in the ocean water!)

Whirling disease is one decimator of salmonids in general, but it appears that the mingling of two different species of fish with "trout" in their names can decimate the lesser one, as reported on NPR's Morning Edition.  It's interesting when they say that rainbow trout can be found all over the world (ahem, especially if they're being introduced into streams and lakes), but cutthroat trouts are native and can survive in very few places, like the cold, streams of northern Montana.